First set of Illinois license plates without mailed renewal reminders expired Dec. 1

First set of Illinois license plates without mailed renewal reminders expired Dec. 1

The budget stalemate in Springfield has forced Illinois’ Secretary of State to suspend mailing vehicle registration renewal notices to vehicle owners.

Hundreds of thousands of Illinois license plates expired at midnight Dec. 1 – but many vehicle owners likely did not receive a notice in the mail.

That’s because on Oct. 28, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office suspended mailing annual notices to vehicle owners reminding them of their registration renewal obligations.

This action was a response to the lack of a state budget, and the secretary of state estimates that this move will save $450,000 per month and will enable his office to continue mailing vehicle registration renewal stickers, titles and license plates for a few more months before the office’s postage account runs out.

Drivers who don’t sign up for email notification will need to renew their registration in person, as they will not have the necessary pin numbers for online renewal. (Illinois vehicle owners can sign up online for email reminders of vehicle registration renewal deadlines.)

White warned in his press release Sept. 28 that if his office’s postage account is depleted before January 2016, his department will be unable to mail annual licenses to auto dealers, which they must have to operate legally. Nor will the secretary of state’s office be able to send out incorporation paperwork required by Illinois businesses.

Illinois has been operating for nearly half a year without a budget, and the state’s unpaid bills total more than $6.8 billion.

Eliminating mailed reminders to save money is not a bad thing in and of itself, but the state is doing residents a disservice by pulling the plug on these notices without a plan to effectively transition vehicle owners to a wireless alternative.

This is just another side effect of politicians’ unwillingness to pass a balanced budget that Illinois taxpayers can afford. Until they do the right thing, Illinoisans will continue to suffer.

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